All My Friends and Neighbors

All ages, groups often to sixty or more. Kids and adults can play this game together.

Materials: open field or floor space and enough chairs for everyone in the group minus one.

This is a game we play at Camp Quest to help everyone get to know each other.

Set up the chairs in a circle, with one chair fewer than the number of participants. The person starting the game stands in the middle and says something true about him- or herself, beginning with the phrase "All my friends and neighbors . . ." Example: "All my friends and neighbors like math class the best." Everyone in the circle for whom that statement is true, and the person in the middle, runs and finds a new chair somewhere else in the circle (usually they aren't allowed to take the chair right next to them). The new person who is left without a chair goes to the middle and says something true about him-or herself, like "All my friends and neighbors know how to knit." Repeat until you're ready to move on.

Tips: Try to discourage merely visible attributes. You don't learn nearly as much about each other if most of the rounds are, "All my friends and neighbors are wearing blue jeans." Encourage people to be careful not to collide with each other or tip over their chairs when sitting down. If some of the younger participants are getting in the middle over and over, help them get to a chair, or have them swap with someone who hasn't been in the middle yet.

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